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Sale 101: The Westpex Sale

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Arizona Expresses - Arizona & N.M. to Tucson and Tombstone Stage Line

Lots 644-653 Lot 654

Lot 644    

Arizona & New Mexico Express Co., black company frank on 3¢ green (U163) entire canceled by perfect blue "A. & N.M. Ex. Co., Prescott. A.T., Mar 17" oval (ARI-100a) to San Francisco, Cal.; reduced slightly at right, Extremely Fine and choice, ex-Emerson, Darlington, Dike, Jarrett, Tatham.
Thomas Nos. ARI-001    Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.

THE FINEST ARIZONA & NEW MEXICO EXPRESS CO. USE.

In March of 1875, several newspapers reported the establishment of a new stage and express service that operated across Arizona and New Mexico. Henry Wells was listed as President and the General Superintendent was his son, Charles H. Wells. Stock certificates were created, a company was formed and line operations began to take shape. In late December 1875 or January 1876, this stage and express service started to operate over a route between Prescott, Phoenix, Tucson and the Terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Despite its name, the company never got as far as New Mexico. By 1876 the express folded due to lack of funding, having lost its usefulness as the railroad pushed further east.

Realized: $4,250

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Lot 645    

Arizona & New Mexico Express Co., printed franked frank on 6¢ vermilion (U181a) legal-size entire canceled by partial blue "Wells Fargo & Co., Los Angeles, May 10" oval to San Francisco Cal.; restored top left corner, light soiling, Fine and rare, The only recorded 6¢ entire with the printed Arizona & New Mexico Express Co.
Thomas Nos. ARI-001    Estimate $400 - 600.

Oscar Thomas reported this cover was sent from Tucson, A.T. by Company Director James C. Truman addressed to J. G. Rowland, the Vice President of the Arizona & New Mexico Express Co.

Realized: $475

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Lot 646    

(Arizona and New Mexico Express Co.) "Tubac A.T. Feb. 11th 1875", manuscript Arizona Territory postmark cancels 3¢ green entire to J.C. Truman, care C.H. Wells, Supt. A & N.M. Ex Co., Tucson, Arizona, endorsed "C.H. W., Please forward to Truman if you know his address, J.C.S."; reduced slightly at left, restored at right, F.-V.F. appearance.
Estimate    $300 - 400.

Letter from Tubac, Arizona Territory where the Salero Mining Co. were reopening 44 old mines discovered and worked by Jesuit Missionaries in the early 1700. Letter sent by J.c. Schemerhorn, who was superintendent of the Salero Mining Co. to J.C. Truman, Director of the Arizona & New Mexico Express and the Managing Director of the Salero Mining Co. C.H. Wells, son of Henry Wells, the President of both the Arizona & New Mexico Express Co. and the Salero Mining Co.

Realized: $350

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Lot 647    

"From the Miner Office/via Dukes Express", manuscript express endorsement at top right on cover to Charles City, Iowa, entered mails bearing pen canceled 3¢ rose (65) and matching "Wilmington Cal, Aug 22 - 64" postmark, pencil "Free" notation at left; small stamp flaws, some edge wear and reduced slightly at right, Very Fine and rare.
Estimate    $5,000 - 7,500.

THE ONLY RECORDED COVER CARRIED BY L. DUKES & CO.'S EXPRESS.

L. Dukes was a Jewish sutler who served the Fort Mojave garrison beginning in 1863. When the steamships did not make it upriver to the fort with supplies, Duke's store was very popular among the soldiers. Expanding his entrepreneurial activities, he decided to go into the express business. He chose to take the Mojave Road northwest out of Prescott to Fort Mojave.

As advertised in the July 20, 1864 Arizona Miner, L. Dukes and Co. Express was planned to leave Prescott about the 1st and 16th and Mojave on the 10th and 25th of the month. At Fort Mojave, Dukes Express would connect with a government express assigned to carry the mail across the Mojave Desert and on to Los Angeles. The ad named Rev. H.W. Read, Postmaster as the Prescott agent for Dukes. One of the first private express companies within Arizona Territory carrying letters and other mail, L. Dukes & Co. operated from July 26, 1864 until a U.S. Mail Contract began on March 1, 1865 after which service was discontinued.

The sender of this cover was Tisdale Hand, editor of the
Arizona Miner, back to his future wife Mary D. Cheney in Iowa.

References: "Tisdale Hand, L. Dukes, and Prescott's Dukes Express cover" by Marjory J. Sente, The Roadrunner, Vol. 35, No. 3, August 2020, pp. 8-10.

Realized: $3,250

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Lot 648    

Fort Whipple, Arizona, Apr. 26, 1864. / By Military Express. }, red two-line handstamp at left on legal-size "Territory of Arizona, Office of the Governor" imprint cover to Washington D.C. with manuscript "Las Cruces N.M., May 14 /64" postmark and matching ms. cancelling 3¢ rose (65) pair and single, faults, prepaying three-times the 3¢ letter rate; edge flaws, Fine and rare use.
Estimate    $3,000 - 4,000.

THE ONLY RECORDED RED STRIKE OF THE EXTREMELY RARE FORT WHIPPLE TWO-LINE MILITARY EXPRESS DATESTAMP.

Only one other example of this Fort Whipple Military Express datestamp is reported, also incompletely struck in black.

There is another Las Cruces N.M. use dated Apr. 30th 1864 (Dike Collection, Frajola sale 18, lot 443) with a descriptive letter headed "Fort Whipple, Arizona" that mentions "We have no mail facilities and … have to send out an express".

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Lot 649    

Pacific Union Express Co., Yuma, A.T., blue "Yuma, A.T." cds and matching with target cancel 3¢ pink (U58) entire with red "Pacific Union Express Co." printed frank to Auburn Cal.; reduced at left with small repair top left, otherwise Very Fine and rare use, ex-Birkinbine.
Estimate    $2,000 - 3,000.

THE ONLY RECORDED PACIFIC UNION EXPRESS FRANK USED FROM ARIZONA TERRITORY.

Pacific Union Express briefly expanded their service territory to Yuma. Their office was located in the Hooper & Whiting Mercantile Company Store.

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Lot 650    

Pedro Aguirre & Co., black printed frank with six-horse stage below on 2¢ red (U232) entire canceled by "Tucson, Ariz. Mar 11, 1884" duplex to Harrisburg Pa., Mar. 22nd arrival backstamp; tiny corner flaw bottom left, some soiling and stain spot, Fine and exceptionally rare.
Thomas Nos. PED-002    Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.

THE ONLY RECORDED USED EXAMPLE OF THIS PEDRO AGUIRRE & CO. PAID EXPRESS FRANK.

In 1873 gold was discovered south of Arivaca near the Mexican border which led to a Gold Rush in that area. This led Pedro Aguirre in 1878 to start a route of stages and mail service from Tucson to Arivaca and then south to the Oro Blanco mining camp. This continued until he sold the company in 1886 and retired.

Realized: $2,200

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Lot 651    

Pedro Aguirre & Co., printed frank on paste-up 3¢ green (U63) entire with pencil "Logan City" address, part of buff envelope adhered on reverse; reduced slightly at left and couple minor stain spots, F.-V.F. and rare printed frank.
Thomas Nos. PED-001    Estimate $200 - 300.

Pedro Aguirre (1835-1907) was a Mexican by birth, frontier refugee by political turmoil, and American by the Gadsden Purchase. Aguirre, in spite of Apache depredations and the death of his elder brother, ran a freighting, stagecoaching, and mail contract empire south and west of Tucson from 1878 to 1886.

Realized: $400

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Lot 652    

Tombstone and Oso Negro Stage Line, Sime Gallen, Proprietor, fancy ribbon frank on 2¢ green on amber entire canceled by "Tombstone Ariz., Jul 12, 1890" cds to Utica N.Y., docketed "Ans July 21/90" at left; tiny corner tear, otherwise Very Fine and rare.
Thomas Nos. TON-400    Estimate $3,000 - 4,000.

THE EARLIEST OF ONLY TWO RECORDED USED EXAMPLES OF THE TOMBSTONE AND OSO NEGRO STAGE LINE FRANK.

Sime (Samuel) Gallen was a teamster who worked at Virginia City, Nevada and Bodie, California. He came to Tombstone, Arizona Territory in 1884. Gallen established his stage line to the Oso Negro Silver Mine near Santa Rosa, Sonora, Mexico in 1890. This 120-mile stage line lasted only a few months.

This cover was carried by Gallen's Stage Line from the Oso Negro Mine to Tombstone where connecting with the mails.

Realized: $2,300

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Lot 653    

Tucson and Patagonia Express. Ingram & Co., Proprietors., printed frank on 3¢ green (U163) entire canceled by bluish-black "Harshaw, Pima Co., Ariz., Jul 18, 1880" cds duplexed with target cancel to Warrensburgh N.Y., some edge wear, Very Fine, Census #WC6470.
Thomas Nos. TUP-400    Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.

THE FINEST OF ONLY TWO RECORDED USED EXAMPLES OF THIS EXCEEDINGLY RARE TUCSON & PATAGONIA EXPRESS FRANK.

A partnership between John Delamore Kinnear and H.C. Walker had resulted in a stage company that ran between Tucson and Tombstone, Arizona Territory. This affair ended around 1881 and each partner formed his own stage line that ran over the same route. It is believed that John Kinnear formed the Tombstone & Patagonia stage line when the partnership with Walker ended that ran from Tucson, Pantano, Benson, Harshaw, Tombstone and Patagonia in Arizona Territory. He competed with John Kinnear's Arizona Mail & Stage Company. The Souther Pacific Railroad construction train reached Tucson, Pantano & Benson by late 1880. By November 1882, there was a regular railroad service between Benson, and the Gulf of Mexico (Guaymas). The railroad, with Wells Fargo, took over the express business in Arizona.

Realized: $2,200

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Lots 644-653 Lot 654

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